Bitcoin mining company buys Pennsylvania power plant to meet electricity needs

Jimmy2x

Posts: 24   +3
Staff
What just happened? Crypto mining companies are continuing to find innovative solutions to power problems despite concerns regarding Bitcoin mining's immense power requirements and ecological impacts. A holding company in Pennsylvania recently purchased the financially challenged Scrubgrass power plant. The plant currently produces enough power for 1,800 Bitcoin miners, with output increases planned to support more than 20,000 miners by 2022.

Mining the top cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum requires vast amounts of power. A single Bitcoin transaction, including the resources needed to mine the coin and to verify the transaction, can total upwards of 1,700 kilowatt hours (kWh). This ever-increasing power demand has forced large crypto mining outfits to leverage any available means to produce their power at the lowest possible cost. In some cases, this leads to mining operations literally taking power production into their own hands.

Stronghold Digital Mining in Kennerdell, Pennsylvania, has joined the ranks of those mining operations that have sought to solve their power delivery challenges themselves. Unlike those companies that leverage regional hydroelectric power or others leveraging energy credits and payments from their respective states, Stronghold recently purchased the Scrubgrass power plant in Venango County, Pennsylvania. According to Stronghold, who advertises their organization as an "environmentally beneficial and vertically integrated Bitcoin miner," the plant will burn Pennsylvania's waste coal to power on-site mining hardware located in shipping containers next to the plant. Waste coal is the residual material left over following coal mining operations; it can be particularly harmful to the environment by leaching metals such as aluminum, iron, and manganese into the soil and surrounding water sources.

Stronghold plans to claim and burn waste coal, then deliver the previously contaminated reclaimed land back to the state via the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Current DEP statistics claim that so far, Stronghold has helped to reclaim more than 1,000 acres of Pennsylvania land. Despite the ability to burn the waste and minimize the threat of contamination, the waste coal still produces a significant amount of carbon dioxide. These types of emissions are an ongoing concern to environmental watchdog groups monitoring Bitcoin's energy and pollution footprint.

Unlike Ethereum mining, which utilizes traditional graphics processing units (GPUs), Bitcoin mining relies on specialized hardware known as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). While GPUs can be repurposed for anything from mining other algorithms to performing their intended rendering tasks, Bitcoin ASICs are purpose-built devices designed solely to provide the hash power required to mine against Bitcoin's SHA-256 algorithm.

Image credit: Coal plant from Rice University, Scrubgrass plant from bitcoin.com

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,315   +6,042
What a tremendous waste of resources.

I can't wait till the governments, one by one, make crypto illegal and stop this ridiculous waste. I don't care how they justify it. Whether they claim it's a ponzi scheme, money laundering, scam, etc. Just get it done before more money and resources are wasted.
 

noel24

Posts: 755   +924
What a tremendous waste of resources.

I can't wait till the governments, one by one, make crypto illegal and stop this ridiculous waste. I don't care how they justify it. Whether they claim it's a ponzi scheme, money laundering, scam, etc. Just get it done before more money and resources are wasted.

Too late. The key words in this article being "holding company". Those digital tokens like Bitcoin became new subprime mortage derivatives. Banks, governments and other sorts of speculators invest overprinted money in those new shiny toys. Pobably Your retirement funds among other things.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,315   +6,042
Too late. The key words in this article being "holding company". Those digital tokens like Bitcoin became new subprime mortage derivatives. Banks, governments and other sorts of speculators invest overprinted money in those new shiny toys. Pobably Your retirement funds among other things.


I invest in REAL assets. I hold real estate, stocks and commodities. The kiddies playing with the digital ponzi scheme with get-rich-quick, escape-the-rat-race dreams ain't ever getting their lamborghini lol
 

noel24

Posts: 755   +924
U.S. housing market was unsinkable REAL asset, until It wasn't. When market crashes, The Market crashes.
Chenese Government being a good guy, Oh Lord, what happened?
 

RobMonteforte

Posts: 24   +9
What a tremendous waste of resources.

I can't wait till the governments, one by one, make crypto illegal and stop this ridiculous waste. I don't care how they justify it. Whether they claim it's a ponzi scheme, money laundering, scam, etc. Just get it done before more money and resources are wasted.

So, what is your solution to the mathematical calculations that are the result of crypto mining, such as credit card transactions; the banks are dying for your answer.
 

RobMonteforte

Posts: 24   +9
U.S. housing market was an unsinkable REAL asset, until It wasn't. When the market crashes, The Market crashes.
Chinese Government being a good guy, Oh Lord, what happened?
The housing market crash of the early 2000s was from poor lending practices, not crypto mining. And I corrected your post's spelling and grammar.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,625   +4,491
"Unlike Ethereum mining, which utilizes traditional graphics processing units (GPUs), Bitcoin mining relies on specialized hardware known as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs)."

So why isn't every miner using these instead of GPUs? They certainly can't be more expensive. In fact, last I heard ASICs were among the cheapest ICs you could get.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,581   +4,985
Of all the ways they could have used the potential of that plant, they pick the worst option possible.
Unbelievable.
Consider it emblematic of the world's larger systemic problems that originate in the outdated and archaic leading economic system in the world. The only thing that matters is money. All else, including the destruction of the world's biosphere, be dammed, even if that means destroying the planet's ability to support life as we know it. Money reigns supreme above all else.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,581   +4,985
Too late. The key words in this article being "holding company". Those digital tokens like Bitcoin became new subprime mortage derivatives. Banks, governments and other sorts of speculators invest overprinted money in those new shiny toys. Pobably Your retirement funds among other things.
Which means that it will, eventually, attract the attention of government regulators in all but the sh!thole countries.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,581   +4,985
So, what is your solution to the mathematical calculations that are the result of crypto mining, such as credit card transactions; the banks are dying for your answer.
What's your solution? Crapto? It is unsustainable, and ventures like this will only emphasize that point especially when they burn the dirtiest coal on the planet. There are plenty of smart people out there that are quite able to put together an alternate solution. Crapto is not the answer.
 
"Unlike Ethereum mining, which utilizes traditional graphics processing units (GPUs), Bitcoin mining relies on specialized hardware known as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs)."

So why isn't every miner using these instead of GPUs? They certainly can't be more expensive. In fact, last I heard ASICs were among the cheapest ICs you could get.
Profit. ASIC's lose their resale value unlike GPU's. Gamers are going to consume these GPU's that were used for mining. ASIC's will become e-waste.
 

StrikerRocket

Posts: 87   +55
1700 kWh for one transaction.

Guess again. Perhaps you mean 1700watt hours?

I'm afraid 1700kWh is the real amount here... it's just appalling...

EDIT: Retrospectively, 1700 *kWh* seems to be pretty steep... 1700 watt/hour seem to be more reasonable. For one graphic card consuming 250 w/h, that would amount to 6.8 hours for a transaction to be validated, not taking into account the hash rate/calculation power of said card. I'll have to dig a little more to see what's going on here...
 
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emmzo

Posts: 352   +336
"Unlike Ethereum mining, which utilizes traditional graphics processing units (GPUs), Bitcoin mining relies on specialized hardware known as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs)."

So why isn't every miner using these instead of GPUs? They certainly can't be more expensive. In fact, last I heard ASICs were among the cheapest ICs you could get.
A good ASIC miner is 6 to 8k USD. That`s much more expensive than a 3090 at current scalper prices. Ethereum algorithm has been designed to be ASIC resistant, so, ETH value being through the roof is by far the best option for GPU mining, 99.9% the reason for current crisis. The story is they tried to keep it fair and give a chance to the little guy, who cannot afford ASICs, the irony is the little guy still can`t afford sh1t and now it`s affecting gamers and to some extent I believe the gaming industry.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 311   +533
So, what is your solution to the mathematical calculations that are the result of crypto mining, such as credit card transactions; the banks are dying for your answer.

They most certainly are not. Banks are quite happy in their role as arbitrators of the validity of transactions. Distributed ledgers are very much contrary to their interests.

And what value do you think crypto calculations have? Crypto's brute force guessing games are designed to create a virtual competition for artificially scarce resources. They are totally redundant, and wasteful by design. Like, the complete opposite of simple and efficient database operations like credit card or other financial transactions.
 

Jimmy2x

Posts: 24   +3
Staff
"Unlike Ethereum mining, which utilizes traditional graphics processing units (GPUs), Bitcoin mining relies on specialized hardware known as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs)."

So why isn't every miner using these instead of GPUs? They certainly can't be more expensive. In fact, last I heard ASICs were among the cheapest ICs you could get.

There are some large scale miners that use them...but availability is often an issue. Bitmain is one of the main ASIC distributors, and the Ethash flavored ASICs are usually sold out. I also don't know if they can be modified at all like an FPGA can (I don't believe so). If not, and if Eth ever took the heavy anti-ASIC stance again, they could change the Ethash algorithm and hamstring them or, in some cases, render them useless. Then you've got some fancy paperweights.

GPUs give you a lot of flexibility in what to target based on market conditions, difficulty, etc. ASICs do not. Anyone who says they're mining Bitcoin with GPUs is most likely mining another alt coin against a different algorithm (leasing out their hash power) and being paid for their service in BTC. GPUs hashing Bitcoin's SHA-256 at this point is like trying to level a mountain with a toothbrush.

As for the price of Ethash ASICs...you could be looking at anywhere from near $1000 to upwards of $30,000 per unit.